tonight on "nightline." oprah's world. as the talk show titan announces a tearful good-bye, the inside story of how open what winfrey went from this to this, and changed television forever. toy story. so long tickle me elmo. there is a new must-have toy flying off the shelves this holiday season. say hello to a zhu zhu pet. is this the hamster that saved christmas? plus, first blood. "new moon" debuts to a record night at the b office as the
fai faithful line up to celebrate the twilight zone. what is it with our vampire on session? from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and martin bashir in new york city, this is "nightline," november 20th, 2009. >> good evening, everyone, i'm terry moran. and we begin tonight with the end of an era. oprah winfrey will officially bid her television fans farewell on september 9th, 2011. but with her tearful countdown has begun.the for more unanimous two decades, her story has been part of the daily fabric of this kcountry. through ups and downs, hers and ours, as she built a fortune and gained great influence. it was said she is the ben franklin of our time, preaching the gospel of self-improvement. but why her? why did she do it? john donvan has tonight's report. >> good morning, everybody, i'm
oprah winfrey. >> reporter: a world without oprah. >> do you understand that you are slime? >> reporter: like a come met hurdling our way. >> we've never seen you behave this way before. >> i know. >> have you ever felt this way before? >> reporter: we know when it's going to hit. >> that is a good statement! that is so good! >> and there's really nothing we can do. >> reporter: she has made up her mind. >> the show has been my life and i love it enough to know when it's time to say good-bye. >> reporter: and so in preslicely one year. >> longer than most. >> yeah. it's long enough to make you my very closest friend. >> reporter: nine months and 20 days -- >> hi there. >> oprah? >> reporter: after 25 years among the clapping ladies, during which her hair styles went straight and went short and her dress size bounced back and forth -- >> i he lost as of this
morning, as of this morning, 67 pounds since july 7th. >> and her ratings went up and went down. ♪ >> reporter: on september 9th, 2011, it ends. >> kind of irreplaceable after 25 years. >> reporter: and that's why? because nobody has that connection? or is it because nobody has that audience? >> it's because nobody can make a book a best seller the way oprah can, nobody provides quite the home for a celebrity who has just come out of rehab of a politician who needsmage rehab. but it's also because the audience trusts oprah. >> reporter: it's a trust that long ago made her one of the wealthiest women in the world, and influential. her endorsement may have helped a president get elected. >> i do believe the moment is now. >> reporter: she's publisher of a magazine. investor in a cable tv network.
launcher of personalities like dr. phil, dr. oz, rachael ray. it's a first name only media empire and she is the queen pin. not that it came easily or started in promising circumstances. born poor in 1954 in mississippi, to a single teenage mother, she was raped at 9 and at 14 became a teenage mother herself. the child died in infancy. >> workers staged demonstration on capitol hill this week. >> reporter: but she had something going for her, because a few years later, still a teenager, she had found a job in nashville on the evening news. and a career was born. >> what's your reaction to all of this? >> reporter: baltimore came next. >> no chance of the strike spreading. >> reporter: and then chicago. >> i'm thrilled to be here. >> reporter: and it was in chicago that the show named for her first took shape. >> hello, everybody. hello. >> reporter: and the league she was playing in then, it had only recently been dominated by white
men, most notably phil donna hugh. >> like the person you've always known me to be. >> reporter: who more or less invented this kind of television. but there were some women in the game, too, and if you ask sally, what was that something that oprah had going for her? >> she's real. i mean, she's extraordinary. she's genuine. she's a natural. that woman is a born talk show host. >> she's been open about her own problems. the problems with her weight. >> i can't -- i can't lift it. it is amazing to me i can't lift it but i used to carry it around every day. >> reporter: it's the kind of thing most talk show hosts would never say or do, and that openness, it was the hook for millions of women, because they were her real audience. >> oprah always symbolized the sense of aspiration, to me, and to so many millions of other people. she's someone who is a woman of
a challenged background who worked really, really hard and became very successful. >> reporter: and the questions that just would sound nasty coming from most interviewers, she would ask. >> are you bleaching your skin, and -- is your skin lighter because you don't like being black? >> number one, there, as i know of, there is no such thing as skin bleaching. >> the other woman has a baby. >> that's what i understand. >> and there is great speculation that your husband, john edwards, is the father of that baby. >> right. >> reporter: and then there is the indignation. it's really, do not get this woman angry. >> captured these criminals and put them away for good. >> reporter: and when she slipped up, her book club promoting that author whose biography was a fake, she said the right thing and she said it right away. >> every one who has challenged me on this issue of truth, you are absolutely right. the apology was a good thing. >> that is the thing. when oprah got into trouble, she
would come clean with the audience and that deepened the bond we were talking about, and made people feel like, this is a real person that i can relate to. >> you can get a car. you get a car! the cars are waiting for you outside! >> reporter: in short, it's been a well rounded human being she's portrayed on her show. >> to the most wonderful person in the world. >> reporter: one we want to know, or be. and to the rret of her fans and the tv stations that minted money carrying her money, when she's gone, duplicating that is not going to be easy. so, oprah is probably the last person who will ever be able to do an oprah. >> television simply doesn't provide such a huge platform anymore. the fact that oprah could do it doesn't necessarily mean that someone else can just step in and take her place. >> reporter: and she has done it well. so well they have not stopped clapping for nearly a quarter of a ceury, and in tv, you call
that an era. >> and until that day in 2011, when it ends, i intend to soak up every meaningful, joy-filled moment with you. thanks, everybody, and i'll see you on monday. >> reporter: i'm john donvan for "nightline" in washington. >> the power of oprah winfrey. thanks to john donvan for that report and good luck to oprah. and when we come back, dear santa. it's the new must-have toy for little girls and little boys, but what is it?
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you may find it on the top of your child's christmas lists. the only problem is, you just may find it sold out on the shelves at your local toy store. maybe you need to try online, because one way or another, you've just got to find it. these artificial rodents, hamsters, in fact. they are the toy, the hot toy this season. but what is a zhu zhu pet,
exactly? vicki maybury found out. >> zhu zhu pelts go here and there. zhu zhu pets go everywhere. >> reporter: this holiday season, brace yourself for what might be the next must-have toy. the cuddly, on the go hall sterps known as zhu zhu pets. they squeak, they roll, they drive. they do everything but make a mess. and retailers like ken levinsohn in new york are hoping they'll be the hamster that saves christmas. >> based on the demand, it's going to be hot. >> reporter: trouble is, he's got none to sell. like fads of old, furby, tickle me elmo, the supply seems to grow short just when demand is high. levinsohn's been waiting for another shipment for nearly two months. >> clearly the demand is there. the product is not, and that's frustrating. >> easier to get a swine flu shot than to get zhu zhu pets. >> reporter: it isn't just small
independents. even the big retailers claim they can't get enough. >> do you have any zhu zhu items? >> reporter: at toys "r" us in times square, they don't bother putting them on the shelves. every shipment is sold out in hours. how lucky did you get? >> very lucky. >> reporter: do you think they're going to be the beanie baby of this year? >> probably going to be the most popular toy, the culture is going to be talking about them. i don't think people are going to be collecting them. >> reporter: chris byrne, known as the toy guy, has seen the famds come and go. but he can't say why lightning strikes any particular toy. >> everybody's been talking technology, cell phones, ipods, this is, though it's great technology, it's the antithesis of that. it's really fun. >> reporter: so, is this the
hamster that's going to save christmas? >> you know, it may be the hamster that saved christmas, because it's a rising tide that lifts all boats. people are looking to find these. >> reporter: is there a chance that this is a manufactured, let's hold them back, let's not release them, and that's how they're getting people so excited about this? >> you know, that issue comes up when there's a fad toy. the end of the day, you can't predict a fad. some people tell you you can, but it's not possible. when something really catches the imagine natiation. >> reporter: who are these guys? this is mr. squiggles. this is chunk. this is num num, and this is pipsqueak. >> reporter: here at zhu zhu headquarters, the pet's creator, russ horns by, said they didn't make many at first because he didn't know if the $9 invention would catch on. so, the response has been --
>> phenomenal. on zhu zhu pets? unbelievable. never, ever seen anything like this in my life. >> reporter: now, he credits zhu zhu pets popularity to fair price, novelty, and the nag factor. >> when you've got an item that's under $10 today, the consumer is -- will rally towards it. and that's provided that, in fact, the kids are excited about it. the excitement is, hey, mom, i -- mom, did you see that hamster that just drove across the tv set? i -- i want one, mom. >> reporter: hornsby has played this game before and lost. he won big with power puff girls and rumble robots. >> 600 employees and $250 million in annual sales. >> reporter: but lost the hits and sold the company. >> it was actually, probably within a few days it was gone. lights were turned out. boom.
>> reporter: now, he and ughters natalie and ashley are back on the board with zhu zhu pets. the company is smaller and leaner. only 15 employees now, who handle everything from design to marketing -- >> when we program the sounds -- >> reporter: to zhu zhu pet voices. >> plays the songs like that. >> reporter: it's amazing, though, that you have millions of dollars riding on what a 5-year-old likes. >> yes. isn't that frightening? >> reporter: who knows what this is? >> zhu zhu pets! zhu zhu pets! >> push it. >> it's so fun. >> reporter: to test the pets popularity, we put together a panel of experts at the elegant child preschool in st. louis. >> what are zhu zhu pets? >> they're the hamsters! >> good starter before a pet. >> reporter: would you rather have a real hamster of a zhu zhu pet?
>> um -- i would have to say a zhu zhu pet. because you can turn them on and off but you can't turn a hamster on and off. >> we haven't opened all the boxes yet, so, i know i got the hamsters in. i can hold those for you. try to get in later today because they're very hot. >> reporter: on tuesday, that toy store in scaresdale finally got its shipment. >> this is only about a third of what we're expecting and most likely they'll be gone by the end of the day. >> reporter: only then did ken e-mail anxious customers. >> going to make a little one very happy with this. trust me. >> reporter: he sold out in an hour and a half. but you can bet there will be more. zhu zhu pets creator's say they'll have 4 to 5 million in stores by christmas. the jingle says zhu zhu pets are everywhere. ♪ zhu zhu pets go here and there ♪ ♪ go everywhere >> reporter: come christmas morning, parents and retailers
will be hoping that's true. this is vicki maybury for "nightline" in st. louis. >> a fake hamster. who would have thunk? thanks to vicki maybury for that. when we come back, she famous will scolded in song, "you're so vain." carly simon has tonight's "play list." would you like a pony ? yeah. would you like a pony ? yeah ! ( cluck, cluck, cluck ) oh, wowww ! that fun ! you didn't say i could have a real one. well, you didn't ask. even kids know when it's wrong to holout on somebody. why don't banks ? we're ally, a new bank that alerts you when your money could be working harder and earning more. it's just the right thing to do. could be working harder and earning more. announcer: trying to be good to your heart?
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explore all 25 delicious flavors. yoplait. it is so good. "nightline" continues from new york city with terry moran. >> carly simon was born right here in new york city, and grew up immersed in music and activism. her career has yielded two grammys, more than 20 pseudoowe albums and worked with some of the greats. and in her new album, she revisits some of those classics like "you're so vain" and "the right thing to do." with her signature style. but who influenced her? carly simon is tonight's "play list." ♪ and as long as you stay ♪ loving you is the right thing to do ♪
♪ loving you is the right thing ♪ the new album is -- m so excited about it because i was surrounded by people that i adore. people that i made it with. some of these songs that i wrote 30 and 40 years ago. going back, reaching into the past and seeing what i did then and sometimes i think to myself, god, how could i have thought that, or how could i have played that or -- how did i think of those chords? why can't i think of them now? my first memory, i remember my mother singing to me -- ♪ sweetest little fella ♪ everybody knows ♪ don't know what to call her ♪ but she's mighty like a rose "mighty like a rose. "my mother sang constantly, everybody sang around the house althe time.
we only sang. it was live opera. there was no talking allowed. i remember so well being home from school sick as, probably 8 of 9 years old and i was very into frank sinatra. i never thought frank was not cool. and i thought about "try a little tenderness" and i just think, oh, my god, he understands, he understands women. women do get weary wearing the same shabby dress. that's a different kind of song. very first time i played live in front of an audience where i wasn't with my sister playing as the simon sisters was at the true by door, it was april 6th, 1971, and i hoped for cat stevens. "wild world" made me fall in
love with his music. i did write at anticipation" for him, thinking, oh, my gosh, i'm so nervous, what is it going to be like? i picked up my guitar and i wrote "anticipation" in record time in 15 minutes, the entire song, because i kept on thinking that the doorbell was going to ring. bob dylan is a writer who, of course, has probably affected everybody. ♪ throw my ticket out the window ♪ from nashville skyline. tonight i'll be staying here with you. his poetry is so brilliant and the songs are so brilliant. i put a cd in, a mix that i made of my favorite songs, the majority of them are rolling stones.
"honky tonk woman," mick jagger is somebody i tried to emulate. i would stand in front of the mirror and i would try to mimic his antics. i dyed my hairo match his. "you're so vain." certainly wasn't about mick jagger. ♪ you're so vain ♪ you probably think this song is about you ♪ ♪ you're so vain ♪ i bet you think this song is about you ♪ ♪ don't you ♪ don't you >> and you know, s's never publicly revealed who it is that's so vain, but she sounds great there. when we come back, tell you about the "twilight" phenomenon, sinking its teeth into a box office record. first, here's jimmy kimmel with what's coming up on abc. jimmy? >> jimmy: thanks, terry. tonight on the show, robert